Identity theft or fraud is a criminal activity that involves a person using information about another individual to fraudulently obtain services or goods. In Nevada, identity theft is a crime that can be punished with a fine of up to $100,000, as well as imprisonment of up to 20 years. While such crimes aren’t uncommon, it is really difficult for offenders to hide their tracks which usually results in their capture.
Now, a new report suggests that a person was almost able to pull off a scam that allegedly allowed him to obtain more than $1 million by pretending to be the owner of a hotel-casino in Las Vegas. As reported by KLAS, a 23-year-old man named Erik Gutierrez was accused of theft of more than $100,000 after allegedly impersonating a Las Vegas hotel owner to receive money.
The alleged fraud dates back to earlier this month, when an “unknown person” entered the Circa Hotel and Casino, located in downtown Las Vegas, approaching a cage teller and asking for money, reveals the latest report citing court documents. Reportedly, the man claimed to be the owner of the hotel and asked the teller to give him money for fake payments to the fire department.
Law Enforcement Arrests the Suspect, Uncovers $850K
Police were reportedly alerted about the alleged scam on June 17, 2023. Authorities suspected Gutierrez by tracking the vehicle used for the alleged theft. After obtaining a search warrant, on June 18, Police arrested Gutierrez. Upon searching the man’s home, the authorities uncovered a large bag with “US currency bundled together with the name Circa written on the bundle.”
Overall, approximately $850,000 was recovered. Still, more than $300,000 is missing, given that the total which was allegedly obtained in three separate payments was $1,170,000. Currently, law enforcement is trying to determine where is the remaining $314,000.
In a statement released via Twitter, Circa’s CEO, Derek Stevens, said: “Although I love a good PR story, this isn’t one of them.” He explained that Circa is currently collaborating with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department regarding the investigation. Stevens praised the law enforcement’s efforts and refrained from further comments saying that an investigation is currently ongoing.